On November 11, 1995, Parma received Fabio Capello’s seemingly invincible Milan. The Ducali's starting goalkeeper was injured, but rather than resorting to his designated backup, coach Nevio Scala decided to deploy an unknown 17-year-old boy. That's how the legend of Gianluigi Buffon was born.
When he was first diagnosed with leukemia, Sinisa Mihajlovic reflected on how he realized that this was really happening to him: “Everybody would think I could not catch anything, big and strong as I am. But no one should ever think of himself as being indestructible.” Perhaps, that is the last and most important lesson he taught us.
"Pazza" Inter. No team in Italy can take their fans to a rollercoaster of emotions like the Nerazzurri. A game that truly exemplifies Inter's unpredictable attitude is their epic comeback from January 9, 2005, when they were down 0-2 to Sampdoria with just 7 minutes to go, but still managed to collect an incredible win.
Oh, those good old days when one could see Roberto Baggio and Diego Maradona facing each other in the Serie A. When the two used to meet, the game could never be an ordinary one: It was September 17, 1989, indeed, when a young Baggio took the luxury of scoring a sensational goal which clearly resembled Maradona’s Gol del Siglo at the World Cup 1986.
It doesn’t happen very often that Roma and Lazio can face each other with a title at stake. Lazio, however, can pride themselves on having beaten their bitter enemies in a Coppa Italia Final, thanks to a lone goal by Senad Lulic in the 71st minute. From that day, the expression "Lulic71" has become a sweet, obsessive mantra in the mind of any Biancoceleste fan.
Alvaro Recoba's first Serie A season perfectly summarized the future career of a player whose talent was equaled only by his indolence. El Chino tallied just three goals that year, but the one he scored to Empoli on January 25th, 1998 instantly gained a spot in Inter's hall of fame.
On February 4, 2004, Roma and Juventus squared off at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, while sharing the second spot in the table, to decide who between them would be Carlo Ancelotti’s Milan’s main challenger for the rest of the season. Roma won 4-0, but the game is mostly remembered for Francesco Totti’s display of typical Italian hand gestures communication skills.
All is fair in love, war, and the Derby of Turin. In what became known as the derby of “Maspero’s hole,” not only did Torino midfielder Riccardo Maspero grab a late equaliser to set the score to 3-3, but he also prevented Juventus from snatching a late win by sabotaging the penalty kick spot and causing Marcelo Salas to miss his shot.
Inter fought tooth and nail to preserve a 2-1 lead they gained in the first half of their Europa League Quarter-Final against Bayer Leverkusen to book a place in the Top 4 of the competition for the first time since 1998. The Nerazzurri took the lead with a stunning one-two by Barella and Lukaku but saw the Germans quickly reducing the gap and had to suffer until the end.
Juventus' Chief Football Officer Fabio Paratici took some time to comment on yesterday's shocking news and the process that brought the Bianconeri's management to give Maurizio Sarri the boot after just one year of contract, basically confirming that the decision of dismissing him was taken before the Champions League game with Lyon.
Napoli faced Barcelona openly at the Camp Nou on Saturday night in the second leg of their Round of 16 Champions League bout but ended crushed by the Blaugrana. Barcelona put three past them in the first half - including an authentic Lionel Messi magic - before Lorenzo Insigne reduced the gap from the penalty spot to set the score at 1-3.
They never really seemed to fit each other, Maurizio Sarri and Juventus. And the former Napoli and Chelsea Comandante’s adventure at the helm of the Bianconeri ended today as the Turin club announced his sacking. Sarri leaves after just one season where he conquered a Scudetto but failed to win any other trophy and, moreover, his supporters and management’s hearts.